Pisani, others plead guilty

Five members of HB loansharking ring admit guilt

Area businessman Rob Pisani on Nov. 17 plead guilty to taking part in a Howard Beach loansharking ring busted by the feds earlier this year, the Queens Chronicle has learned. Pisani admitted to the collection of an unlawful gambling debt in furtherance of a racketeering conspiracy, a spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn said.

He will forfeit $50,000 to the government and faces 15 to 21 months in prison when he is sentenced April 10.

Christopher Boothby, Evan Greenberg, Richard Heck and Robert Tanico — all members of the same ring — also pleaded guilty, on different dates, to using “extortionate means to collect” debts.

The Queens residents will be sentenced next March or April.

The defendants — and five others whose cases are still pending — were arrested in March on various charges including loansharking, extortion, obstruction of justice and attempted murder.

According to the charges, Bonanno crime family capo Ronald Giallanzo provided money to some of the defendants to give “extortionate loans” to numerous individuals.

The Department of Justice alleges the crew engaged in acts of violence to collect debts owed to them.

In one case, Giallanzo allegedly sought to have an individual who robbed one of his crew members murdered. The dispute lasted several months and the two crews often shot at each other on Howard Beach streets, the DOJ said. A tentative trial date has been set for June 25.

But that case wasn’t the end for Pisani — he was arrested weeks after the federal charges and slapped with a sexual assault charge after an employee at his bagel shop claimed he grabbed her buttocks.

A Queens district attorney spokesman said Pisani’s next state court date is Jan. 23.

That case led to yet another South Queens arrest.

Howard Beach resident and Forum Newsgroup publisher Patricia Adams was cuffed in August after she allegedly tried to convince the father of the sexual assault victim to tell her not to speak to the authorities.

Adams allegedly told the father, who recorded his interaction with the newspaper publisher, she had an “interest” in the case — the feds claim she owes thousands of dollars in gambling debts to the Bonanno family.

She was indicted Nov. 15 on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of witness tampering and faces 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.